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Posted on 13/02/2015 by George SweeneyUncategorized
It is important to teach your children the things they need to know to be healthy and successful in life before they reach their teens. Teenagers are involved in their own lives full of social and sports activities. They are concentrating on the moment. Plus, they have hormones controlling many of their feelings. Knowing what to teach your children before their teens can be difficult as there are some things they will learn for themselves, but as long as you are setting a good example that is all you can do.
You should start teaching your child how to accomplish some of the following as soon as they are old enough to walk. Even little ones can learn good food choices and the importance of keeping their bodies and play spaces clean.
This list is not all-inclusive. However, if your child learns to assume responsibility in the following areas, they will be well on their way to achieving independence and making positive contributions to both their families and society.
Caring for clothing is a part of everyone’s life. In our
house, each person had a specified day for laundry. Weekends were reserved for
my husband and I, who both worked during the week. My children never brought
home dirty clothes from university. In fact, they were the go-to people for
those who did not know how to wash their clothes in their halls. Areas to
explain to them include:
As a parent, teaching healthy eating habits can be
difficult. Our lives become so busy; it is just easier to opt for fast food or
processed products. However, the only way your children will learn to eat
healthy is by doing so at home.
Try to incorporate fibre and protein into each meal.
Encourage children to snack on veggies and fresh fruit. If unhealthy food is
not available, they cannot eat it, so keep it out of the house.
Most young people spend a tremendous amount of time sitting
– in the classroom, at their computer, watching television. There is no need to
join a gym. Simply introduce exercise into their daily routine. An evening
walk, bike riding, gardening, any activity done outdoors can provide the
exercise necessary to keep the body healthy.
Make sure you teach your child the difference between right
and wrong. Use teachable moments: a news report on television, the consequences
suffered by someone famous who did something wrong, or the trouble a friend
gets into as a result of poor choices. Each individual needs to have a moral
centre; a compass that tells them when they are stepping out of line. It is
your job as a parent to teach your child to set their moral compass.
I had a rule when my children were growing up. If they told me
the truth, there
may be consequences, but there would not be punishment.
It is important, first of all, that you demonstrate honest
behaviour. If someone phones and you don’t want to take the call, do not
have your children say you are not there when you actually are. My children
were directed to say, “My mother is not available to take your call right now.”
This was a blanket reason non-specific enough that the caller would not know if
my children were alone or if I was somewhere in the house indisposed.
Make sure that you explain what honest behaviour is. In our
society, dishonest behaviour is, unfortunately, prevalent. Point it out when
you see it on TV and in movies. Finally, ensure that you reward honest
behaviour. Whenever your child displays honesty, reward them, with a compliment
or a hug. Tell them how proud you are of them.
Teach your child to respect their elders, their friends,
associates, and themselves.
They should not be allowed to speak to parents with a
disrespectful tone. They should also be discouraged from speaking negatively or
“putting down” their friends. When a person respects others, they get respect
In regard to respecting themselves, teach your child to set
physical and emotional boundaries with others. Your child needs to know how to
say no. My children were told they could always use me as an excuse by saying,
“My mother would kill me if she found out!” They reported as adults that they
used this excuse quite effectively any number of times.
There are other behaviours to teach your child before they
become a teenager, but these are some of the most important. We never finish
teaching our children. Our youngest daughter called this evening to get her
father’s assistance on a technical problem with her phone. However, the lessons
learned early in life will lay a foundation upon which a successful adult life
can be built.
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